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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 23, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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news. wide ranging interview. jared kushner's lawyer tells me about his client's second interview with the special counsel revealing important lines of questioning. what does it tell us about the state of the russia probe and kushner's faith? intel community attack. president trump takes his assault on law enforcement institutions to a new level fueling unproven claims about a spy inside his campaign. tonight fired fbi director james comey says mr. trump is pedaling lies that will do lasting damage tuesday the country. new indications tonight that they're looking to george papadopoulos for information. and live at the volcano where it shows no sign of ending. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in
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the situation room. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking tonight, jared kushner's lawyer confirming today just a little while ago that his client was interviewed a second time by the special counsel's team. about the firing of james comey and about the trump campaign contacts with russia. lowell also confirmed he's been granted full security clearance. our correspondents and analysts are all standing by. first to the cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. i want you to listen to what abbe lowell told me in the last hour.
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your client jared kushner sat down with the special counsel last month, the interview lasted several hours. what was the focus? >> so the focus of jared's cooperation has really been dictated by what the special counsel wants. back in the fall they were interested in understanding some of the issues about general flynn and he answered all their questions then, and in april we basically followed their lead, and the topics were the appropriate topics. you know that they're being thorough and looking at the campaign. and by campaign the issue they're investigating is whether there was something called collusion, whatever that means to people. they're looking to see whether there was some undue influence put on by outside countries, particularly russia. and they've been looking at some of the most inauguration issues, primarily the firing of james comey. and of course jared has had roles in the campaign. he was the point of contact for foreign officials, for that and also in the transition, and he
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was around the circumstances that were ultimately led to the firing of comey. so you can assume they know they're topics and exhausted all of them. >> gloria, what's your reaction? >> well, my reaction is that they are being very specific with jared kushner because he was at the nexus of all of the things they're investigating. so i thought abbe was pretty candid about what they were asking jared about. particularly regarding his meetings with russians, i would assume. don't forget he was the point person who we were told wanted to establish a back channel to russia. he was involved in the campaign and had meetings and also, of course, you know dealt with cambridge analytica, which has been something that's come up time and time again. and also of course the question of obstruction and the firing of
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james comey. because we know jared kushner was in new jersey that weekend when the president made his fateful decision to fire the fbi director. those close to jared say, you know, he just supported but had nothing to do with the decision. people who are not close to jared portray him as driving the decision to fire comey. so i'm sure that the special counsel wanted to wait awhile until he could ask jared, get other people's stories about what occurred and then ask jared, kushner himself these questions. >> i asked abbe lowell if kushner a target of this investigation. listen to his response. has jared kushner been told he's a witness, a subject a target of the investigation in. >> the answer to that is that those are words you guys in the media report and make no sense
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to people who are practicing lawyers because -- >> these are legal terms. >> they are not. they exist in the legal term manual primarily for the purpose of telling people when they should be given their rights before going into a grand jury and getting a subpoena. i have done this for a bunch and i will tell you that today's witness is tomorrow's indicted person. so i don't ask that question. what i do ask is whether is the focus of the investigation or whether somebody should be expecting more questions. these are titles handy for the media to use, so i didn't ask. the kinds of questions they asked, the kinds of statements he made reflects he understands he's a witness to the events. we simply don't use those terms, i never have. >> he just said he was a witness. what do you make of that? >> it's pretty significant. first of all, i think we should not lose sight of the fact that
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having jared kushner's attorney come out like this and speak out like this, it's rare we ever see him do this. in fact, i think this may be the second time i've seen him on television. i think they were at a point where they feel pretty comfortable that whatever robert mueller has been looking into as it relates to jared kushner, that perhaps is somewhat open. of course as abbe there says, anything can change. the other thing that i think is important to note here is that clearly he thinks jared kushner was a witness here. i don't think he would have allowed the special counsel, the fbi agents and those prosecutors to sit there and grill jared kushner for some nine hours if he thought that he was a target of the investigation. i mean that would just pretty much be malpractice at abbe lowell's part. it's clear he thinks he's a witness here. and we should remember what the russians here were doing, what they were running, what other countries here was trying to do
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was influence jared kushner, was to try to influence the campaign and eventually the president. there was, as we've reported there was outreach by many different country's to jared kushner specifically with the russians and different people that had ties to vladimir putin to russia that were meeting with jared kushner. i mean he says it there himself, abbe lowell when he talks about undue influence by other countries. and those are the kind of questions, it seems, that were posed to jared kushner. because that's essential to one of the main issues that robert mueller is still looking at. >> you know, gloria, abbe also confirmed that jared kushner finally received his permanent security clearance. this is something that had been delayed clearly for a long time. >> right. as we all recall he had interim clearance longer than anyone at that level that we knew about had ever had.
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but then in the wake of the rob porter scandal when they sort of re-did all the security procedures at the white house, jared kushner lost his clearance, interim clearance along with a lot of other people. and what abbe lowell was saying was after-going through the regular procedure, keeping his place in line, not jumping to the head of the line that jared was finally granted his security clearance. i mean, they have always maintained that the reason he did want get it in the first place was because of his complicated business, et cetera. but we also know there was a lot of controversy over the filing of jared's sf 86 forms which he had to amend multiple times because the contacts with the russians and then in fact the special counsel was apparently asking him about in april were not listed on his security clearance forms, and his lawyers have said that initially that was an oversight.
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but it was really a complication for him, which they had to straighten out. and it looks now as if they have. >> so in november he was questioned for two hours. mostly about the firing of michael flynn, the national security advisor. in april, seven hours. now he gets his permanent security clearance. walk us through the process. the fbi and the intelligence community make recommendations, but in the end it's up to the white house to decide specifically, i assume the president could make that decision. >> certainly. and the president wanted him to have security clearance. i think this was the big issue all along, and then folks like john kelly, obviously they instituted some new policies that the white house. but in the end really, wolf, if the intelligence community, if the fbi was really holding this back and felt there were still some issues with jared kushner shouldn't have security clearance, it's highly likely he would not have security clearance. but ultimately, yes, the
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president would be the one to decide. and if the president says you need to figure out a way how to get jared kushner security clearance, then that would happen. but clearly, you know, if you listen to what abbe lowell says here they went through the proper security channels to get him security clearance. >> senator jeff flake is about to join us as well. we're learning more right now about the president's son-in-law, senior advisor. the president is pouring fuel on a conspiracy theory at the same time the fbi, quote, spied on his presidential campaign. just days after he here by demanded a full-scale investigation the president appears to have delivered a verdict himself tweeting about the unsubstantiated claim as though it were fact. let's go to our senior white house correspondent pamela brown. pamela, the president is escalating this new line of attack against the russia investigation. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, wolf. in fact today he's calling it a
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big political scandal, not backing down from his claim that there was a politically motivated spy implanted in his campaign. tonight president trump going farther than ervin attacking america's law enforcement institutions. accusing former president obama's justice department of spying on his presidential campaign. >> i hope it's not so because if it is there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. if you look at clapper he sort of admitted they had spies in the campaign inadvertently yesterday. >> reporter: what clapper actually said wasn't that trump's campaign was spied on but that the fbi was in fact watching russia. >> was the fbi spying on trump's
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campaign? >> no, they were not. they were spying on a term i don't particularly like, but on what the russians were doing, trying to understand were the russians infiltrating, trying to understand access and influence. >> reporter: the president seizing on the mischaracterizati mischaracterization nonetheless. tweeting look how things go and end up getting caught in a major spy scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before. that after ordering the doj to open classified filed for congressional review. >> what i want is i want total transparency. >> reporter: fbi director christopher ray, director of national intelligence dan coats, will brief just two lawmakers. leaving democrats with no seat at the table and no way of knowing what information will be
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shared. >> my hope would be that any such briefing needs to be both bipartisan, and my hope and prayer is that the fbi or the department of justice would not in any way be forced to reveal confidential information. that would go against 75 years of practice. >> reporter: former fbi director james comey blasting the president for the order. tweeting the fbi's use of confidential human sources, the actual term is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. adding, attacks on the fbi and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. trump's response? >> we're not undercutting. we're cleaning everything up. this was a terrible situation. what we're doing is we're cleaning everything up. it's so important. what i'm doing is a service to this country. and i did a great service to this country by firing james comey. >> reporter: the whole episode
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has further soured an already complicated relationship between trump and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. but both greeted each other warmly today at an immigration round table in new york where trump doubled down on calling ms-13 gang members animals. >> i called them animals the other day and i was met with rebuke. they said they're people. they're not people. these are animals. >> reporter: this as trump's attorneys try to narrow the scope of a potential interview between the president and special counsel robert mueller. multiple sources familiar with the matter tell cnn trump's legal team wants any interview with mueller to only focus on matters occurring before trump became president, which would effectively eliminate questions related to obstruction of justice. >> pamela brown with that report. joining us now republican senator jeff flake, a key member of the judiciary relations.
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let me get your quick ration to these new details we just heard from jared kushner's lawyer. what did you think, first of all, to what abbe lowell, kushner's lawyer told us? >> i don't have any window into that. i just know mueller is a professional. he's doing things methodically as he should and i trust him. but i don't have any window into the kushner issue there. >> what do you think when the president uses the phrase, "criminal deep state?" >> well, i think that is completely unfair and not good to sully our institutions like that without proof. and having a briefing that includes only republicans is no way to have transparency. if you're going to have transparency then involve both parties. so i hope that the president reconsiders. if there's a meeting or briefing just with republicans in there,
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it will do nothing to shed any light if light needs to be shed on this topic. and i've seen no evidence that there is spying on the trump campaign. it's just simply the fbi following leads on was russia involved or fought. and i think it was appropriate from what i've seen. if there's a briefing it ought to involve both parties. >> yeah, a lot of people and several of your republican colleagues agree. you just delivered a pretty scathing speech at harvard's class day. our presidency has been debased by a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division and only a passing familiarity with how the constitution works. congress is utterly supine in the face of the vandalism that flows from the white house daily. simply put, we may have hit bottom. all right, so tell your viewers what made you say that?
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>> well, i think that our presidency has been reduced. when we have the president, you know, calling for the jailing of defeated political opponents, calling his opponents losers and clowns. then the presidency has been debased or reduced. that's what it means. and for congress we need to stand up and re-claim our constitutional prerogative. whether it's passing immigration reform or authorization for use of force. we shouldn't continually say we'll pass what the president wants. we'll pass what we think we should do and ask the president to sign it. he can either sign it or veto it. but we've given far too much and i think it's time for the congress to stand up. >> the president is also making some very serious accusations that president obama, former cia director john brennen among others were abusing their power to go directly after him.
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do republicans have a responsibility to challenge the president when he makes these kind of accusations? >> yes, we do. and republicans have a responsibility when the president says i'm just going to brief republicans to say, no, that's not how it goes. particularly when you're talking about defense, intelligence, national security, those kind of issues. you know, we work in a bipartisan basis. that's the only way to do it, particularly in the senate. and so we have a responsibility as republicans to say that's not how we do it, mr. president. that's not how you should do it either. >> if the president does convince his supporters, his base that the entire justice department, the fbi, the intelligence community, they were all out to get him -- and that seems to be the narrative that he's trying to get sunk in -- what happens when we finally see robert mueller's findings? >> well, that's what i mention in my speech is seemingly
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bottomless appetite for division. to play off members of congress against each other, the parties against each other and to divide. and so i hope that when bob mueller continues his investigation, which i hope he does, and produces his report that it's something that brings us together. and i don't know what's he's going to come up with, but i have confidence in him. and i think we all ought to have confidence in our system. >> senator flake, thanks so much for joining us. just ahead we'll have more on the breaking news. what we're learning from jared kushner's lawyer about his second interview with the special counsel. what that could mean as the investigation goes forward. and also tracking the exploding volcano danger in hawaii. cnn is live on the big island as the lava gushes and overflows. 6,000 feet above sea level. but how do you really know that the beans journeyed to the port of mombasa and across the pacific?
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we're back with breaking news on my exclusive interview with jared kushner's lawyer abbe lowell, he tells me the president's advisor asked about the trump campaign contacts with russia as well as of the firing of the fbi director james comey. this as president trump is in the midst of an a new all out assault on intelligence, law enforcement community spreading unproven claims that the fbi spied on his campaign. let's bring in our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. jim, the president is taking his attacks to a new level. >> and we have to remember, wolf, these attacks date back nearly two years ago at the
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first signs russian interference in the election came up, the president questioned the evidence behind those claims. they've continued to infenciten as the president has been in office. and yet at each turn the chiefs of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies as reported by the previous administration, president obama and those appointed by the president himself have contradicted the president's claim and we saw that again in very clear form today. the president again today called the russia investigation a witch hunt carried out by a quote, criminal deep state. and yet just hours later his newly appointed secretary of state can see no such deep state exists. >> i don't believe there's a deep state at the state department. >> you formerly served the cia director. do you believe your colleagues at the cia are part of a criminal deep state? >> this term deep state has been thrown around. i'd say that the employees that work for me at the cia nearly
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uniformly were aimed at achieving the president's objectives and america's objectives. >> that fact, the president's alarming charge has been contradicted by the heads of each of those agencies, all appointed by the president and confirmed by a gop led senate. and yet mr. trump continues to make the same allegation. >> there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. >> beyond his ongoing attacks on the nation's community, the president has dismissed those agency's assessments as some of the most critical national intelligence issues. and instead cited israeli intelligence from 2003 as justification for killing the deal, intelligence which u.s. officials tell cnn did not change the current u.s. assessment of iranian compliance. >> israel published intelligence long concealed by iran,
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conclusively showing the iranian's regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons. >> and now the questioning of u.s. intelligence extends beyond the president's himself. on tuesday homeland security secretary kirsten nielsen said he was, quote, unfamiliar with the intelligence community's high confidence assessment that russia meddled in the 2016 election to help trump and hurt hillary clinton. an assessment made public in january 2017. >> i do not believe that i've seen that conclusion. what i do -- that the specific intent was to help president trump win, i'm not aware of that. >> the former director of national intelligence james clapper who served both democratic and republican administrations warns that the president's latest allegation of spies inside his campaign is particularly damaging. >> politicizing what is a legitimate activity on the part,
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and an important one on the part of the fbi. they use informants and have strict rules and protocols under this. >> as the president begins the possibility of face-to-face negotiations with north korea over its own nuclear program there's concern now as to how if the president uses the intelligence provided by the intelligence agencies, for instance, on the question of north korea dismantling a nuclear test site, the u.s. is aware of other sites north korea could use, is that colored as a win? >> jim, i want you to stay with us. i want to bring in some of our other experts on the national security situation. and josh campbell let's start with you. previously the white house tried to make a distinction between the leaders of the department of justice and the fbi and the rank and file. do you think that's changing ? . >> well, let's review the level of whiplash.
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first the president was describing the fbi as corrupt, and then the president went onto say it's a shame what happened to the fbi, the entire fbi. and next the president described fbi agents in new york executing a lawful court order as quote-unquote breaking into the office of his lawyer. and then next his lawyer, rudy giuliani, described those same agent, the rank and file as nazi storm troopers. and now the organization is being labeled as part of some deep criminal state conspiracy. so i no longer speak on behalf of the fbi, but i have to imagine if you're in the organization right now and wake up every day and see our leaders calling you crooks you feel under assault. >> shawn turner is with us as well. why do you think the president has seized on this confidential source and framing this as though the source was a spy in his campaign? what's the goal? >> you know, wolf, no one knows better than the president that words matter. and when the president uses words like spy and deep state
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and conspiracy, he's doing that for a couple of reasons. one it's a continuation what we now know is an intensified attack on the intelligence community and the fbi. the president has gone into fight mode, and we've seen that quite clearly with some of the statements he's made lately. the president also knows any narrative is living breathing entity. and he has to feed that narrative if people are going to continue to buy into it and believe it. so i think he's aware of that with regard to those on his base and also with the investigation, he's changing his strategy. there was a time he was subtle on attacking the process the fbi and the intelligence community is going through. but that's become very direct now. this particular individual, unfortunately, is a victim of president. and if he's got mueller, if he's got other individuals who are part of this investigation, he has no problem adding another
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one. >> he was chairman of the house intelligence communities. we learned that jared kushner's security clearance has now been fully restored. yesterday the president sign adsecurity clearance reform bill that expressed some concerns about instead of vetoing this message within the state, the president says it's within his authority to ultimately control who has access to classified information. as someone who has studied this over many years what do you make of this? >> the president has ultimate authority, but he has has to subscribe to the rule of law. and how the president is dealing with the lack of trust in our major institutions, whether it's the cia or the state department, we just heard mike pompeo say there's no deep state, either at the state department or the cia. so the president thrives on chaos. he thrives on getting people to attack each other. and in the process maybe he thinks they'll forget about the substantive claims of collusion
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or the other things being investigated. i think most people in america want this investigation to be thorough and not to be stopped by this kind of rhetoric. >> jim, we learned even more about jared kushner since he had his security clearance revoked. it's not like those issues have been revolved. have they? what's the logic here when we see he now has full top secret security clearance? >> ultimately the decision on security clearance rests inside the white house. white house staff make a decision to grant that clearance over a recommendation to the contrary from the fbi, that's unlikely. keep in mind, we're a year and a half into this administration. jared kushner with a senior post, law enforcement agencies have had a year and a half a to look through the many questions including many omissions, such as not mentioning the trump tower meeting in 2016 with russians offering dirt on hillary clinton. but they've had time to look through that, and if they still had major objections you'd have
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to assume they'd make those clear and it would be very difficult for him to receive the clearance as we now know today that he has received it. >> you know, dan, when you hear the president say and what he tweeted this morning about not just the deep state but a criminal deep state that is out to get him, you've been around for a long time. what do you think? >> i think it's outrageous. i think it's doing a lot of damage to the public's trust and belief that our government is acting in their best interest. and it hurts america. it hurts america around the world. the president wants to build up this country, and the lack of bipartisanship and working on these issues and also deeply disturbing. but the president's rhetoric is certainly not helping him or america either. there's more news we're following including more on the kushner collection after my exclusive interview with jared
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kushner's lawyer. what do we know about the state of the investigation. and volcano watching in hawaii. the gripping images and the urgent threat to residents. we're going live to the disaster zone. prepare for your demise, mr. billingsley! do your worst, doctor. i will. but first, a little presentation. hijacking earth's geothermal energy supply. phase 1.
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with special counsel robert mueller's team. abbe lowell said that the mueller investigators asked kushner about russian collusion, foreign contacts and the firing of the fbi director james comey as well as more. let's dig deeper with our specialists and our analysts. david chelian, kushner's lawyer outlined that mueller was asking about these contacts and the firing of comey. it sort of reflects two tracts of this investigation, right? >> without a doubt. the collusion track -- the so-called collusion track, and the obstruction track. and i think abowe lowell made it crystal clear to you that just from the seven hours he spent with mueller's team and his client that those two paths are still clearly being actively pursue, wolf. >> sabrina siddiqui, why do you think abbe lowell has decided to come out with all these details? >> i think it's notable on the
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same day jared kushner's security clearance was reportedly restored you have his attorney reviewing the details of the interview with the special counsel to put forth this narrative about the way in which the president's son-in-law is cooperating. when you look at the context in which his security clearance was revoked, that was amid the controversy with rob porter, the president's former secretary which exposed there were several staffers in the white house who were operating on interim clearances. but now you have a narrative at least from kushner's legal team that suggests that he is not the subject of a criminal investigation, otherwise it would be unlikely that his security clearance would be restored. so thallows him to sort of conflict two stories that may not be related. >> do you find it odd that abowe lowell didn't ask if kushner is a witness, a subject or a target in this investigation? >> yes, i did, wolf.
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i thought that abbe was trying to say in his narrative that kushner was in fact a witness, but also one status as a subject or a target is movable. that you could be a witness today and a subject tomorrow. so he doesn't like to use those terms per se. but clearly i think the message today was my client is seen by the special counsel as a witness. whatever you want to call him, he is not in the cross hairs of a likely indictment. >> david, listen to what abbe lowell said about kushner's security clearance. listen to this. >> it was just done the normal, regular way. and in fact the delay that people reported about and reported about was caused by the things we said, which was a backlog in a new administration. and remember mr. kushner has expensive holdings that each and every one required someone to look at to determine the nature of the finances. so of course it took a long time, but it was done the normal
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process. >> so what do you think, david? does that add up to you? >> believes it was done in the normal process -- here's the thing, jared kushner as you know, wolf, has a pretty expensive portfolio the president has assigned from him on day one. if they understood the normal process and how long it was going to be to get him into a full security clearance environment, why all those things were being assigned to him from the get go i think is a question for the white house to answer. >> sabrina, we now know that mueller completed a second interview with jared kushner, seven hours. and that they're preparing to sentence even as we speak in the coming days george papadopoulos. what does that signal to you? >> it could signal there is at least one phase of the investigation that is nearing its conclusion. george papadopoulos, of course, pleaded guilty in october to lying to the fbi about the nature of his contacts with the russians. but it's also important to
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remember that he was arrested last july and has since been cooperating with the special counsel. so it could also just mean that at this point in time robert mueller and his team have gathered all the information that they can from papadopoulos as a witness. and we also know that it's hard to imagine this investigation nearing its conclusion without an interview with the president, and that is something that mueller's team is still in talks with when it comes to with respect to the president's legal team, what the parameters of that interview might look like. >> and michael, the president in a tweet earlier today seized on that so-called confidential source that was used to try to find out what the russians were up to, the u.s. election. let me put it up on the screen. "look how things have turned around on the criminal deep state. they go after phony collusion with russia. a made up scam and end up
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getting caught in a major spy scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before. what goes around comes around." how concerning is that to you? >> i think what it does say is rosenstein was correct. this behavior is exhibit a of the need for prosecution bto be taking place outside the justice department. can you imagine how it would be proceeding if it was handled by people subject to the president's whim and being fired. i think it's unsaturdayable, an attack on law enforcement as many other guests have said. as i say it is an example of the need for an independent counsel on this investigation more than anything else. >> it's very interesting, david, because this morning the president tweeted just two words. one of his tweets, witch hunt. now look at the use of that phrase over the past few months. if you take a look at this graphic we've put up, you can
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see going back to may of last year and how recently since march it's gone up, up, up. it's a steep increase. what does that tell you? >> it tells me that the president has ratcheted up the discredit mueller's effort. the increase in volume is all about a deliberate concerted effort try to win an argument in the political realm with the american people in mind here at the end of this process, to rally the president's supporters and make sure that a healthy enough percentage of americans will question no matter what mueller delivers at the end. >> and the use of that word witch hunt only in that graphic from tweets. not from what he's actually said but from his tweets. stick around. there's more breaking news we're following. i want to go to hawaii right now, the kalewaya volcano eruption and the growing threat from toxic lava and gas. this eruption has been unfolding
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now for what? for three weeks? >> reporter: it is the nightmare that never ends for these people or seemingly never ends. there is plenty to worry about for people here. and now one other thing. and that is a geothermal plant being threatened by lava. and there's a little hill of lava formed around it, and that is actually good news for people in this area because it is pushing lava in one direction in the opposite direction of that geothermal plant. in fact, that lava is cascading downhill all it way to the ocean. you can see on the horizon there that white plume of smoke where it is entering there. and so right now we know at that geothermal plant the lava is about 250, 300 yards away. i spoke to the company today. they said the danger is relatively limited. they've managed to cap all the
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11 geothermal wells. if the breach were to fail the danger is sulfide and a plume of gas going up. i want to show you one other thing, wolf. that's this fissure over here. you can see the massive hill it's created over the past week and a half as it's been erupting. it's really died down in recent days. you can see that plume of smoke there. this is actually the fissure that caused the only fissure so far at kilauea. it launched a lava bamb the size of a bowling ball at 57-year-old darrell clinton who was trying to protect two homes in that area. you can see one of the roofs down there actually 100 yards away. i actually visited him in the hospital yesterday afternoon, and he is in surprisingly in good spirits. he has a metal rod in his leg. he's had two surgeries already, and he'll likely need more.
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just the heat of this lava bomb even set his porch on fire. to his credit the two homes he was protecting, they are still standing. the lelani estates neighborhood, some of those cracks, they are widening. in fact some of those homes are at risk of falling into those cracks. obviously in this area things can change quite quickly with this lava, ando the national guard is on standby with helicopters to evacuate neighborhoods within four hours if the situation were to change. but, of course, we don't know how long this is going to go on. and that is really the number one question on everyone's minds. >> certainly is. scott, standby. i want to bring in our meteorologist jennifer gray. give us the scope of the area effect. >> when you think about the big island the area that's being impacted is a relatively small area. but for those people that are affected, this is huge deal, and they are in this for the long haul. this is not going to end anytime
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soon, most likely. this is where those lava fields are in the peak. and you can see those areas of red, and that's the lava heading to the ocean. that's that three-mile journey to the ocean. that geothermal venture is nearby. and you can see the two fissures impacting that. number six, and the fish door the north, number 22, those are the ones that keep going with the lava fountain and those are the ones impacting that plant. just as scott was saying, most of the lava is heading away from the plant. here it is right here, and you can see the bulk of it going away. and there's that hill he was talking about that the hardening lava. so it's basically helping it go away from the plant. so that was the biggest concern of the most recent days was that plant. supplies 25% of the island's power. a well breach can release that hydrogen sulfide.
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but most of the wells have been capped with steel plates, so right now it does remain stable, wolf. >> explain the different kind of hazards, jennifer, associated with this eruption. >> there are many hazards but one in the most recent it sends up a lot of steam made of hydro chloric acid and tiny volcanic gas particles, so when you breathe that, it can be extreme ly harmful to your lung and irritating to your eyes and vog has been a concern. when the sulphur reacts with the gases and creates particles. it's another form of air pollution. it can cause breathing problems and we've been concerned with acid rain. that can contaminate drinking water and be has dozardous to me
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life. >> thanks for that report. and to our view eers, you can s more of these really amazing images of the kilauea lava flows live around the clock on our websit website, cnn.com. more break iing news from the trump administration ahead of the president's proposed summit with kipg kym jongen. we're learning new information. stay with us. your paycheck.
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there's more prabreakin ini. the trump administration growing concerned about is summit with kim jong-un. we're working with story. elise, you're getting new information from your sources. >> that's right, wolf. a senior official involved in the planning for this summit between president trump and kim jong-un says the trump administration wants additional high level talks with north korea and assurances from kim jong-un before the summit that he is committed to giving up his nuclear program. top white house officials will travel to singapore this week d weekend, but their focus is to confer with the north korean delegation on lodgist cal and agenda items. this official said on top of that, substantive discussions would need to place with north korea's leadership and mike pompeo. you heard pompeo yesterday say
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he would be ready to meet with north korean officials to you know, make sure thing s are reay for the summit. this would be after the completion of military exercises between the u.s. and south korea. you remember north korea threaten ed to withdraw from th talks if those joint exercises proceeded or if the u.s. continued to insist that north korea abandon its nuclear program and that's prompted, wolf, all this concern in washington about kim's true intentions. now the official say the key point is whether or not kim jong-un has made a decision to denuclearize. if he has, the officials say it shouldn't be that difficult to get an agreement, but if he b hasn't and is going to play the same games as he is in the past, the summit won't be that successful and they want to know if there's a chance for success if before the president goes ahead. the u.s. side wants a sign of good faith that kim has made a strategic shift to denuclear
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ooiz. >> thank you for that report. we'll see what happens. finally tonight, very different story. the porn star stormy daniels is being honored for her legal battle against president trump by the city of west hollywood in california. our national correspondent is on the scene for us. the city proclaimed this stormy daniels day and is giving her a key to the city? >> in just a few moments, may 23rd will become known as storm whestormy daniels. the mayor is about to hand over the key to stormy daniels and why is that? we asked the mayor that very question. he talked about the fact that she in his mind, is really a face of the resistance and that west hollywood is the center of the resistance and donald trump and his policies when it comes to the lgbtq community, daca recipients, sanctuary cities and planned parenthood. when i asked why she got chosen,
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here's what he told us. >> so here we have plotting along fighting day in, day out, fighting for her people and along comes this this unlikely heroin in the form of a porn star. who is actually speaking truth to a very powerful person on the planet. taking on the bully and making him expose all the hypocrisy, the corruption, all the two-faced problems within the trump administration. so for all of those reasons, we're quoing to acknowledge her with a day today. >> we should be hearing from her and the mare in just a few minutes. the ceremony by the way is not being held at west hollywood city hall. it is being held at west hollywood, the sex toy shop. stormy daniels should be here in a few moments along with the mayor and city council and there's a crowd of folks here waiting for this to happen. >> not surprised.
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i'm sure it's a significant crowd in west hollywood, california. thank you very much. sara sidner reporting for us. that's it for me. to all our viewers, thanks so much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" next, trapped with a little help from his friends. peddling a conspiracy theory aim ed at destroying the special counsel's crede bability. is it working? and jared cukushner sitting dow can bob mueller for a second. we have new details and the homeland security secretary taking her loyalty to trump to a whole new level. let's go "outfront." and good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, trump and friends. together unleashing a coordinated assault on the justice department, pushing trump's theory that the fbi planted spies in his campaign. now they've provided no evidence to support the claim.

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